Wednesday 24 April 2019

Norwegians back in Annagassan!

Olivia Ryan

The scenic mid Louth village Annagassan has long been linked to its Viking heritage, but a unique new project is set to bring it into the 21st century through a virtual reality experience!

The small rural community once housed a Viking winter base, one of only two in Ireland.

A major archaelogical find just a few years ago confirmed that the Linn Duchaill site, beside the river Glyde and south of Dundalk Bay, was the location for the Vikings to bring their long ships or longphorts to be repaired.

Although eventually abandoned as a port due to poor tides and a shallow Dundalk bay, Linn Duachaill was also a large trading town .

Now, a local initiative is set to finally bring the once mythical viking folklore to life.

The Glyde Inn Annagassan is currently putting together the world's first 'Viking Virtual Reality Experience' in a restaurant.

Owner Conor O'Neill explained that as part of the extensive research into the project he visited the Norwegian ambassador to Ireland in Dublin, Else Berit Eikeland and subsequently invited her to Annagassan to view the Viking site and see firsthand a working protype of the exciting new virtual reality experience.

The ambassador took him up on the offer and on Tuesday last, she was part of a delegation visiting Annagassan along with the whole Norwegian Conciliate.

'On arrival she was met by Dr. Ned Kelly, former Director of Antiquities at The National Museum of Ireland, local historian Micheál Mc Keown,and Director of DKIT Dr. Michael Mulvey,

Representatives from Louth County Council included Cllr. Pearse Mc Geough and Councillor Colm Markey.

Micheál Mc Keown then presented a replica Viking sword to the ambassador before leading the group to the Viking site of Linn Duachaill.

'On the site Dr. Ned Kelly explained that the area is the most significant in Ireland and the largest Viking settlement in the world,' said Conor

'Following the familiarisation trip to the Viking site the group moved to The Glyde Inn for a working lunch with Louth County Council CEO Joan Martin, where the protype of the Virtual Reality was viewed and Viking possibilities were discussed,' added Conor.

The Argus